Publisher: Sphere/Little Brown Book Group
Published: 28th August 2014
Pages: 338 Pages
Otto Laird is outraged!
The peaceful, if slightly bemused, existence of this elderly retired architect is rudely interrupted when he learns this his most revolutionary and controversial building, Marlowe House, a 1960s local authority tower block in South London, is to he demolished. Determined to do everything in his power to save the building , Otto returns to London for the first time in twenty-five years.
As he explores his past, ponders his present and considers the future – for himself and his building – he embarks on a most remarkable journey, one that will change everything Otto ever thought he knew about himself and those closest to him.
Thanks to Scott and Waterstones for sending me a copy of Nigel’s novel to read and review.
Otto Laird is angry that a building he helped to design and construct is up for demolition. Why would they do such a thing and how can Otto prevent it? He enlists the help of his friend Angelo who does all he can to stop Marlowe House from being flattened to the ground.
When I first started reading The Restoration of Otto Laird I thought I was in for a boring ride, the first couple of chapters left me feeling a little flat and I did have thoughts about stopping. However, I hate not finishing something so I persevered and really loved it. You shouldn’t be fooled or put off by the initial stages because it’s no reflection on the other elements that you’ll love.
On the surface Otto appears hardfaced and irrational, but underneath he was an incredibly emotional man. The loss of his first wife Cynthia plagued Otto with many unwanted thoughts and he never regained normality. The travelling back to London to film the documentary was a brave decision for Otto and I felt that it was a mission of self-discovery more than it was to save Marlowe House. Living your memories and remembering the good times you’ve experienced is never a bad thing, but to live the present based on those memories isn’t always wise and Otto eventually realised that.
The Restoration of Otto Laird made my entire body ache with sadness – this sounds very dramatic, but the words Nigel wrote were full of emotion. The sadness is by no means a negative and I advise all to read this book because it’s beautiful.
You can purchase The Restoration of Otto Laird on Waterstonesand Paperback.
Find out more about Nigel on Twitter at @npackerwrites.